Book of Shadowboxes; A Story of the ABC's

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There is an unmistakable mass market look to this busy ABC book. Each letter receives a double-page spread showcasing a two-stanza rhyme, a shadow box filled with objects, and an invitation from a cheerful blue ghost to find something in the shadow box. ``Can you find my brass bugle?'' he asks as the rhyme lists ``A big batch of bunny heads / Row after row, / And a bunch of balloons / With a brown bear below.'' Although the idea for the book is inventive, the coy illustrations at times overwhelm. Almost all the alphabet pictures have man-in-the-moon faces--jelly beans, ice cubes, bananas, dice, even green hills grin out at the reader. The rhymes are often forced, and the author avoids the problem of finding words for the difficult letter ``X'' by saying that ``X doesn't start / Many words, just a few, / But it's mixed in with taxi / And chickenpox too.'' Ages 2-10. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- An intriguing find-the-object book. Seeley uses shadowboxes--compartmentalized wooden frames--as a unifier. In the top left corner of each box is a letter of the alphabet. The other four to six compartments are filled with dense illustrations of objects, creatures, and people starting with the given letter. Featured items are mentioned in the two four-line stanzas that accompany each page. The rhyming verses are set within rectangles of various watercolors. For the most part, the rhymes are simply a gimmick to help with identification. A shadowy character who looks a bit like Casper the Friendly Ghost sits in his own wooden frame at the bottom of each verso and asks readers to hunt for one extra item. The final two pages list, through a fine use of adjectives, every item that can be found in the book. Seeley's illustrative style is interesting, although stiff. She places smiling faces on the inanimate objects and uses a profusion of small black dots to add depth and texture. Although not as visually or intellectually stimulating as Graeme Base's Animalia (Abrams, 1987), the book will certainly occupy a child's searching mind. --Martha Topol, Interlochen Public Library, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561450725
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 980,424
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 12.09 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000


    This is a wonderful book for kids at any reading level. The pictures are entertaining for the little ones,and the rhymes are fun and easy to understand. The more advanced reader will recognize the alphabet association goes beyond,' 'A' is for apple'. Laura Seeley is an exceptional artist and I will be checking out more of her work for my family to enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    My 18-month-old daughter loves this book. The pictures really ca

    My 18-month-old daughter loves this book. The pictures really captivate her. She insists we read it to her every night. I love it too.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A truly wonderful book for all ages

    This is one of my favorite books to give as a gift or a just "thinking of you" goodie.

    I was able to meet Laura Seeley at our sons elementary school in Woodstock,Ga., many years ago.

    Not only was she delightful but also taught us to draw the bear in Magical Moonballs.

    This is a real keeper!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2003

    My favorite gift book!

    This underappreciated title is one that I love to share with everyone I know who has small children. Perfect Baby Shower gift! This book remains fresh and interesting no matter how many times it is read. Great for developing language with small children because the shadowboxes contain some unusual items that expand vocabulary and knowledge. Everyone who reads with small children should own this book.

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